Can You Take a Semester Off From Nursing School?

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There are many reasons why a nursing student might want or need to take a semester off but can you, and is it a good idea.

Let’s talk about it.

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Can You Take a Semester Off From Nursing School

Many schools will allow you to take a semester off. How long you can take a leave of absence (LOA) and when you can return to school will depend on the nursing program.

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Issues with Taking Time Off From School

I understand that sometimes it’s unavoidable that you may need to take a leave of absence from a nursing program.

From my experience and what I’ve heard of other nursing students’ situations, most programs are willing to work with you on a case-by-case basis.

I’ve seen situations of programs working with students because of:

  • financial reasons
  • death
  • pregnancy
  • mental health

I’m sure there are other reasons programs have given students leave of absence.

The issue you’ll run into is that their decision often may seem arbitrary, and based on what I’ve heard, I think it is.

It could vary significantly based on the program and who you talk to.

The other issue to keep in mind is that you will have to make up those hours or semester, and if you wait too long to return, you may have to start repeating classes.

Talk to the Program as Early as Possible

My best advice is to talk to the dean (or whoever the contact person is) of your program as soon as you know you might need a leave of absence.

When you start the conversation early and present all the information, it’s more likely your leave will be approved.

Nursing Student Academy

Check out the comprehensive supplemental course nursing students are taking to improve their grades and pass nursing school.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Is it OK to drop out of nursing school?

    If that’s what’s best for you and your family, then dropping out should be considered. Talk to your academic advisor first because a leave of absence might be best in your situation than dropping out.

  2. How many nursing students drop out during the first year?

    On average, 1 in 4 nursing students (or 25%) will drop out of their nursing program. This will vary based on the program.